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Folsom

FOLSOM POINTS FROM LLANO AND MIDLAND COUNTIES, TEXAS

By C.K. Chandler

ABSTRACT

This paper illustrates and documents four previously unrecorded Folsom points and one Midland point. One is from Llano County in the Edwards Plateau area of Central Texas. The other three Folsom and the Midland points are from Midland County in the Lower Plains area of West Texas.

DISCUSSION

The 1991 report of the distribution of Folsom points in Texas documented 329 Folsom points from 86 localities in 57 of the 254 counties in Texas (Largent et al. 1991). Seven Folsom points and eight preforms have been documented from the Scharbauer Site in Midland County (Wendorf et al. 1955). None were reported from Llano County. Since Largent's 1991 report, additional Folsom points have been documented and published: many of these in La Tierra (Chandler 1990; Smith and Garrett 1992; Chandler and Kumpe 1994; Chandler and Smith 1994; Chandler and Hindes 1995). Largent has updated his data base for Folsom points, and he now reports 345 Folsom points from 102 localities in 63 Texas counties (Largent 1995).

Figure 1 illustrates these four Folsom points and one fragmentary Midland point with actual size drawings by Richard McReynolds.

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Figure 1, A, A' is a complete Folsom point made of tannish yellow, good quality chert having a glossy finish and waxy feel that indicates it has been heat treated. It is 36 mm long with a maximum width of 18.4 mm at 17 mm above the basal corners. Width at the base is 18 mm.

It has a maximum thickness of 3.4 mm at mid-length outside the fluted area and is 2.8 mm thick in the fluted area. Flaking is fine, narrow and slightly oblique. The flute on the reverse is 31 mm long and 10 mm wide. The basal nipple is mostly intact. It is without patina. The shallow basal concavity on each side of the basal nipple is 2 mm It weighs 3 grams. This specimen is from Tow Valley on the west side of the north end of Buchanan Lake in north Llano County.

Figure 1, B, B' is a complete Folsom point made of pale, nearly translucent, chalcedony. All surfaces have a light gray (nearly white) patina.

Dimensions are 29.3 mm in length, 22 mm wide at the center and 20 mm wide at the base. Basal concavity is 3.3 mm. It is 2.7 mm thick at 5 mm below the distal tip. It is 2 mm thick in the fluted area. The basal nipple is missing. There is a single flute on each face. The obverse flute is 20 mm long and 16 mm wide. The reverse flute is 21 mm long and 14 mm wide. It weighs 2.2 grams. This specimen is a surface find from the sand hills of Midland County.

Figure 1, C, C' is a complete Folsom point made of medium quality light tan chert with a thin white patina. Flaking is irregular. Dimensions are 28.9 mm in length, 15.9 mm wide near the center with a base width of 15 mm. It is 3.6 mm thick at 14 mm above the base. It is fluted on the obverse face only. This flute scar is 22 mm long and 9 mm wide. The reverse has a large diagonal flake scar that originates from the lower left corner of the artifact. This scar is believed to have been present on the parent flake when it was discharged from the core. This area of the artifact is 2.4 mm thick and may have been too thin to remove a flute on this face after the removal of the obverse flute. This scar is 15 mm long and 14 mm wide. The basal nipple is missing and there is a basal concavity of 1.2 mm. It weighs 2.0 grams. This specimen is a surface find from the sand dune area of Midland County.

Figure 1, D, D' is a nearly complete Folsom point made of medium quality tan chert that is without patina. The distal end is broken and one basal corner is broken. Its present dimensions are 25.8 mm in length, 18.3 mm in width and 3.3 mm thick at 21 mm above the base. It is 2.4 mm thick in the fluted area. It has a shallow basal concavity of 0.5 mm. It weighs 2.2 grams. Flaking is irregular and it is fluted on the obverse only. This flute extends beyond the distal end break. It is 9 mm wide. The reverse face was totally unifacial as the parent flake scar that originated at the distal end. Both edges of this side have been minimally retouched. This specimen is a surface find from the sand dune area of Midland County.

Figure 1, E, E' is a basal fragment of a Midland point made of a light tan excellent quality chert with the beginning of a faint white patina on one face. It is thinned with vertical thinning flakes from both faces as well as lateral thinning flakes from both faces. Edges are finely trimmed with parallel retouch averaging eight to nine scars per centimeter. It strongly resembles Folsom but is without fluting. Edges are heavily ground full length and base is lightly ground. This fragment is 25 mm in length, 18 mm in width at the break and 3 mm thick at the break. Base width is 14.7 mm. Basal concavity is 1.2 mm. Weight is 2.1 grams. This specimen is a surface find from the sand dune area of Midland County.